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Friday, February 27, 2009

You thought that the NY Post's Monkey-Gate was A Problem? Look What Your Public Officials Email Each Other About! The Presidential Watermelon Patch!

More info in a few but click on the link and discuss amongst yourselves in the interim:

Watermelons on the White House lawn

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Well It's Going Down! Iconic Educator, Marva Collins Visits Afronerd Radio, This Sunday, 7pm ET

We really do try to knock them out of the park as it relates to our interviews. Case in point-the inimitable Marva Collins is scheduled to pay a visit to our little ol' show! I readily confess that Ms. Collins is one of my idols and it will be an honor to converse with her regarding the past, present and future state of education in communities of color. If anyone is familiar with Ms. Collins story, she is the founder of the Westside Preparatory School located in Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, the school is now defunct (which we will address on Sunday) but Westside came into prominence because of Ms. Collins' teaching methods enabling her to instruct children deemed unteachable. We're talking about students that the educational system initially banished to the remedial nether regions but under Ms. Collins' tutelage, these selfsame children ultimately became Ivy League caliber candidates. So please feel free to stop by this special broadcast as Mr. Starks and I pick the brain of a legend.

Please call in with your comments/questions at 646-915-9620 (again, Sunday March 1st at 7pm ET). We can also be reached via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. And of course, Mr. Starks and I will discuss additional issues after the interview segment. You weren't going to get off that easy! Stick around for the second half as we analyze the following: more skin tone madness in the US and abroad; Tyler Perry continues to perform above box office expectations but is it a 21st century minstrel act?; as Black History month comes to a close-is it still necessary?; and our thoughts about this weekend's State of the Black Union '09 telecast. And as always, Be Square and Be there-Imperius Rex brethren!

Afronerd Interviews Iconic Educator, Marva Collins

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Evidence that President Obama is not "Uniquely" African-American.......White Family Traces Black Roots

I find it somewhat offensive that some folks still insist that President Obama is an anomaly. He is erudite, well-educated and perceived to be "uniquely" multi-racial and therefore a different African-American. But is he? In a previous entry, I highlighted a recent controversy involving conservative pundit and author, Ann Coulter, in which she made some disparaging remarks about folks of color who "opt" to be Black when they are of bi-racial parentage. Ms. Coulter obviously never received the email that no Black person has the option to be Black, especially if one is phenotypically of the darker persuasion-society makes the choice for you. There has been a great deal of scholarship in the area of Black genealogy, affirming the contention that upwards of 80% of African-Americans possess European ancestry. It is very easy to find someone in the Black community that looks "less Black" than our current POTUS but possess mono-racial parents-the very essence of being Black in America. The question remains....how many Whites are comfortable in discovering their Black lineage? Well, perhaps one should ask the Rand family:

Excerpt courtesy of CNN.com:

It's often said that a real Southerner can "claim kin" with anyone.

Tony Rand and his son Ripley learned last year that some of their relatives were African-American.

Tony Rand realized the same could be true for him. Rand, whose family can trace its roots back to the 1700s, is a Democratic state senator in North Carolina. Until he watched the 2008 CNN documentary "Black in America," he had no idea that some of his relatives were black.

Although firmly anchored in the South, the Rands are spread across the country. What connects them is their link to a common ancestor -- the family patriarch William Harrison Rand.

"Hal" Rand, as he was known to most, was a white farmer and slave owner. In 1842, Hal married Sarah Ann Mullens and they had seven children. Hal also fathered seven children with his mistress, Ann Albrooks Rand, a black woman.

Every other year, hundreds of African-American descendants of Hal Rand get together at a different location for a massive family reunion. It's a time to catch up and share stories, eat barbecue and have a good time. The 2007 Rand family reunion, held in Atlanta, Georgia, was featured in "Black in America." After the program aired, dozens of viewers across the country had the same revelation -- they, too, were related to the Rands.

"I was sitting there, that Saturday night, just up reading the week's papers and watching the program," says Rand with a hearty Southern accent.

"Then I hear, 'We are the Rands. The mighty, mighty Rands," he recalls, referring to the words sung by family members as they embarked on their bi-annual pilgrimage.

"And then I said to myself, 'What?'"

Tony Rand listened as the family historian, Martha Rand Hix, described the family's patriarch.

"When they were talking about William Harrison Rand, I knew that was the William Harrison Rand in our family," he said. "Then they started talking about North Carolina, and I said, 'Well, God oh mighty,' ... it was just amazing."

The next day, he telephoned his 41-year old son, Ripley Rand, and asked him to contact their black relatives. Soon, Tony and Ripley Rand were invited to attend the next Rand family reunion in July in Sacramento, California. Photo See photos of the Rand family members »

But, what Tony Rand didn't know was that his son, a North Carolina Superior Court judge, had already been diligently working on the family genealogy. Ripley Rand had begun typing out a hand-bound version of a 100-page manuscript compiled by his great-uncle, Oscar Ripley Rand III, and started to create a digital version.

For more of this story in its entirety, click on the link below:

White senator discovers family's African-American roots

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For the collectors who visit our site, here's something of interest

Comic collecting is just one of many interests we have, and personally speaking, collecting stamps has been a long time interest of mine. This commemorative pane of 12 civil rights leaders was released by the USPS this week.

By VERENA DOBNIK | Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - A U.S. postage stamp with the likeness of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers has been officially released.

The 42-cent Evers stamp now goes on sale nationwide. He's one of a dozen civil rights pioneers taking their places of honor on six new U.S. postage stamps.

Marking the occasion, his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond held a news conference Saturday at a Manhattan hotel during the annual meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The other stamps honor Ella Baker, Daisy Gatson Bates, J.R. Clifford, Fannie Lou Hamer, Charles Hamilton Houston, Ruby Hurley, Mary White Ovington, Joel Elias Spingarn, Mary Church Terrell, Oswald Garrison Villard and Walter White.

Posted by Mr. Starks

And Just One More Link/Post on The NY Post Cartoon Issue.......

And just to put the nail in the coffin pertaining to the simian cartoon debacle (and Rev. Sharpton's involvement), check out this snippet from fellow conservative blogger, Kirk Peterson:

A responsible black leader would acknowledge the Post's apology and move on. In fact, a responsible black leader did exactly that. I would have preferred if Governor Paterson had explicitly criticized Sharpton, but his description of the Post apology as "very honorable" is a strong implicit slap at Sharpton. President Obama, who understandably had to cultivate Sharpton while establishing himself in politics, should repudiate Sharpton's comments as well.

For the Peterson's entry in it's entirety, click on the link below:

Al "Thug" Sharpton Takes His Incendiary Show on the Road

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a Few Links/Meanderings of Interest.....

Never let it be said that we do not try to give you the best, here at Afronerd. Our readers/radio listeners undoubtedly know that Mr. Starks and I are big supporters of the artist now known as Prince, hence the above video. But this time, this video was posted because of a guest appearance (at the 3:37 mark) by the one and only, educator supreme, Marva Collins. Ms. Collins may be paying a visit to Afronerd Radio real soon, so stay tuned for more forthcoming information.

Next up, the inimitable NY Daily News columnist and jazz aficionado, Stanley Crouch weighs in on the NY Post racially charged cartoon debacle. Check out an excerpt from the Crouch piece, courtesy of the News:

There is nothing amusing or exciting or titillating about a pet chimp going off his primate rocker and attacking a woman with such fury that she lost her nose and her eyes and her jaw before his owner stabbed the chimp with a knife. Woman's face torn off by a pet turned vicious; vicious pet killed by police.

This is the story that inspired the cartoon run by the New York Post that is defended as harmless and attacked by those who want heads to roll from the masthead. The Post claims to be misunderstood by anyone other than opportunists who see a racial implication in the cartoon, which portrays two cops looking at a primate's corpse and saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Yikes to the thousandth power.

While I do not support cartoonish versions of outrage, I cannot dismiss those protesting the cartoon for making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill.

In a more perfect world than the one we presently live in, all of us should at least be able to expect taste even if perusing the New York Post. That organ has long been closer to intellectual and emotional toilet paper than the conservative daily newspaper that it claims to be. Though some of its writers are actually good and others plucky, neither type distinguishes the paper known near and far for its willingness to sink far below sea level whenever anything arrives that can be sensationalized or exploited.

This cartoon has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It takes us back to the kind of casual insinuations that were not only expected in the past but were rule of thumb. I cannot think of a better example of why Black History Month should continue to exist rather than be discontinued because Barack Obama is in the White House.

As I have written before, true black history is also the true history of enlightened and courageous whites who fought slavery and protested racism. They shared what one historian calls "a righteous anger."

My sentiments exactly, Mr. Crouch! For the Crouch analysis in its entirety, click on the link below:

Cartoon makes a monkey out of those who try to defend it

We were fortunate enough to interview the ever stalwart director, Raymond Gayle regarding his important (and necessary) celluloid effort, Electric Purgatory. As he noted in our interview with him, he posted his film on Youtube for public consumption. I definitely want his message of Black musical diversity to go viral, so please take a gander:

And lastly....we all know that Richard Pryor was a comic genius but did he provide the idea for Spinal Tap, the seminal mockumentary? Take a look at this comic bit (with a very young Sandra Bernhard)...makes one go hmmmm:

The Comic Shoppe Returns.....Tues at 7pm ET-Discussing Wonder Woman Animated, GL in Australia, Heath's Oscar & Much More

The Comic Shoppe returns and is open for business. Join Daryll, Max and yours truly to discuss all matters of the pulp persuasion tomorrow at 7pm eastern standard time. Of course, you guys know the drill-feel free to call in with your comments and questions at 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. We will discuss the following: We here that the Green Lantern movie has begun filming in Aussie land; what happens now that Heath Ledger has posthumously won the Oscar? Is there a feline femme fatale in the works for Dark Knight 3?; Our thoughts on the upcoming animated Wonder Woman release; a working title for Superman 2 (or is that IV?) and of course our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. So kick back and join us as we still maintain....Being there and Being Square.....Make Mine The Comic Shoppe!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We're not fans of hair weaves but it looks like they may have life saving capabilities.

Will this lower tier madness ever end??

Police: Hair Weave Stops Bullet

updated 5:47 p.m. ET, Thurs., Feb. 19, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police said a woman's tightly-woven hair weave saved her life.

Police were called to a Kansas City market at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Arriving officers found the 20-year-old woman there. She told police she had pulled into the market and saw a man with whom she had recently ended an eight-month relation with inside a car,

A second man came up to the woman’s window and told her that the ex-boyfriend still loved her, Kansas City police said.

The woman told the second man, "I don’t love him."

At that time, the victim heard gunshots and saw her ex-boyfriend walking toward the back of her car firing a handgun, police said.

The victim sped away in her vehicle as her back window shattered, police said.

She returned to the scene a moment later to witness both men leaving in their vehicle.

Officers found a bullet in the woman’s hair and said her tightly-woven weave stopped the bullet.

The victim was not harmed.

The ex-boyfriend and the second suspect were both taken into custody a short time later.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shouting Out One Of Our Own.......Sergio Mims On Tv On The Oscars!

Just giving support for our longtime supporter/commenter, Sergio (of the Bloodsport blog and Ebony online) for his recent appearance on Chicago Tonight. Perhaps this should be an audition tape for Roger Ebert's old job-I'm just sayin' Also the cool shout to the Dark Knight was much appreciated.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boy Do We Have A Full Plate For The Next Afronerd radio broadcast! Discussing the NY Post, Travis the Chimp, The GOP Goes Hip Hop & More! Sun at 7pm!

Well there appears to be an awful lot of subject matter to dissect for this Sunday's upcoming Afronerd Radio broadcast. The obvious pink elephant in the chat room is the NY Post's controversial chimp cartoon. But rest assured, that is not the only thing. Stop by this Sunday at 7pm eastern as Mr. Starks and I take out our conservative microscopes and scalpels to pontificate on the following: Our new attorney general's recent comments on alleged US cowardice regarding race relations (he does know that his boss is Black, right?), Michael Steele seeks to get the GOP's groove back by droppin' it like it's hot and the real life tragedy that the NY Post's cartoon was based on. And as custom, we implore our readers and radio listeners to call in with their comments and questions at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo. And as always.....Be there, Be square and don't you dare pick up the NY Post!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

And in honor of Michael Steel's homage to rap, I want you guys (and gals) to check out this somewhat viral hip hop video that appears to channel an urban sound of old-when hip hop truly was the CNN of the Black community. I may not agree with all that the video espouses but I respect that it's more about social commentary and less about neo-minstrelsy:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time To Contact the Ghost of MLK!.........NY Post Should Be Boycotted-Cartoon Likens Obama to Travis the Chimp!

This next issue has been blazing the internet all day and I suspect former presidents of Black America Jackson and Sharpton have an important assignment-rightfully so, this time! If you take a look at the cartoon pictured above, one can cherry pick a number of off color tangents that are grossly inappropriate for our 21st century media. If you have been residing in Osama's cave for the last few days, you may have missed the tragic story of a Connecticut woman who was mauled by a celebrity chimp, named Travis. Of course, PETA is more concerned with the now deceased simian than the clinging to life human victim. But I digress.....the cartoon attempts to make a grotesque analogy between Travis' demise and President Obama's recent signing of the nation's new stimulus bill.

Likening the country's first Black president to a monkey has been done before and it appears to never get old. And the assassination angle is equally offensive. My conservative bent does not excuse Republicans when they cross the line and I will call anyone out, irrespective of party affiliations. If the editors of the very liberal New Yorker magazine can be called to the carpet for last summer's Angela Davis/Obama the muslim mashup then the Post must also feel the wrath. Here's more on this story, courtesy of the Boston Globe:

A questionable cartoon

An uproar is brewing about an editorial cartoon in today's New York Post that appears to tie President Obama to a rampaging chimpanzee killed by police.

The cartoon, by Sean Delonas, shows a chimp splayed on the ground in a pool of blood. Two police officers stand over the body, one holding a smoking gun, and the second saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

While Democrats, and a handful of Republicans, in Congress technically wrote the $787 billion stimulus bill, Obama has championed it, gone back out on the stump to sell it, and claimed it as his own while signing it in Denver on Tuesday.

The cartoon appears to refer to Travis, the pet chimpanzee and TV star who was shot to death by police in Stamford, Conn. on Monday after it mauled a friend of its owner.

The Rev. Al Sharpton told the Associated Press that the cartoon is "troubling at best."

Sharpton notes that Obama is the nation's first black president and that African Americans have been depicted as monkeys by racists through history.

"Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama and has become synonymous with him, it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?" he asked, according to press accounts.

Sam Stein wrote on the Obama-friendly Huffington Post website that it seems "rife with racial and political sensitivities."

"At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it," Stein opined. "Most provocatively, it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial."

The Post is standing by the cartoon, and questioning Sharpton's motives.

"The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut," editor-in-chief Col Allan said in a statement. "It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy. Again, Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist."

UPDATE: Delonas told CNN this afternoon that the controversy was "absolutely friggin' ridiculous."

"Do you really think I'm saying Obama should be shot? I didn't see that in the cartoon," Delonas said. "It's about the economic stimulus bill. If you're going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, which it's not."

The YWCA weighed in with its concerns.

"I think this cartoon is inflammatory, inappropriate and irresponsible," Lorraine Cole, YWCA's CEO, said in a statement. "It recalls deeply offensive negative stereotypes of African Americans characterized as monkeys and is seemingly directed at our first black president who championed the economic recovery stimulus bill. It also brings to mind racially charged police brutality incidents involving Black men who were recklessly shot by New York City police officers."

Stay tuned for Rupert Murdoch's contact details. In this blog's early inception, we provided contact information when high level Black media outlets and radio stations routinely disrespected African-American imagery and now it's the Post's turn.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And Speaking Of Radio Broadcasts....Check Out Our Interview With Raymond Gayle, director of Electric Purgatory, this Sun at 7pm eastern!

We have yet another informative and fun filled show scheduled for our blog/radio audience this Sunday, when we interview filmmaker and documentarian, Raymond Gayle. I assure you-this is not the show to miss. Mr. Gayle's celluloid effort, Electric Purgatory (trailer, above) highlights the trials and tribulations for those men and women of color who so choose to perform music that is separate from the beaten path. Who says Black folk can't rock? Unfortunately, a stagnate and truncated record industry says so. But we didn't think that we would see a man of color in the White House either. So join Mr. Starks and I as we speak with this great director about his film and the state of Black music. Feel free to call us "live" at 646-915-9620 or via IM/email-afronerdradio@yahoo. And if time permits, we will address the topics that we failed to give get into the previous show (GOPAC chairman Michael Steele's own historic achievement, Etta Vs Obama & Beyonce and more hip hop minstrel foolishness) as well as the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga. And remember-Stay Strong, Stay Focused and Stay Square!

Afronerd Interviews Raymond Gayle

It appears that the gaming industry is doing well despite the current state of the economy.

By Tom Magrino (AP)

Earlier today, the US Commerce Department delivered the semi-shocking news that total retail sales for January rose 1 percent, defying a six-month decline in growth and marking the biggest overall retail gains in 14 months. Of course, that percentage climb paled in comparison to the US gaming industry. Reporting on US software, hardware, and accessory sales today, the NPD Group revealed that industry revenues stood at $1.33 billion for January, a 13 percent climb from a year prior.
Falling in line with analysts' expectations, US software sales amounted to $676.6 million in January, a 10 percent increase over last January's $614.7 million haul.

Software: $676.6M (+10%)
Hardware: $445.4M (+17%)
Accessories: $209.8M (+11%)
Total Games: $1.33B (13%)

Afronerd Radio Flashback! Afronerd Interviews Rajen Persaud-Why Black Men Love White Women-12/9/07.....Calm Down....It's Not What You Think!

This blast from the past is for those who may not be familiar with this blog's archive (or the radio show's for that matter). I was asked in a previous post whether Mr. Starks and I tackled the subject of interracial dating on Afronerd Radio-well the quick answer is...."yes"....and click on the link below for the show in question. I suspect that this will be regular feature on our blog-Enjoy!

Afronerd Interviews Rajen Persaud

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brain Blast Part 2: A Device For Reading Your Mind

As one with a keen interest in science and technology, I find some of these latest developments from the science community to be fascinating.

New Device Reads Minds Pretty Well

livescience.com – Tue Feb 10, 10:08 am ET

Canadian researchers say they can glean simple preferences from a person's brain by shining near-infrared light into the noggin.

The study, reported in the Journal of Neural Engineering, demonstrated the ability to decode a person's preference for one of two drinks with 80 percent accuracy by measuring the intensity of near-infrared light absorbed in brain tissue, the scientists said in a statement today.

"This is the first system that decodes preference naturally from spontaneous thoughts," says Sheena Luu, a University of Toronto doctoral student in biomedical engineering who led the work under the supervision of Tom Chau, a specialist in pediatric rehab engineering at the university's Bloorview Kids Rehab center.

Near-infrared light has a longer wavelength than visible light. In the beginning of the study, nine adult volunteers rated eight drinks on a scale of one to five.

Then, wearing a headband fitted with fiber optics that emit light into the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, the subjects were shown two drinks on a computer monitor, one after the other, and asked to make a mental decision about which they liked more.

"When your brain is active, the oxygen in your blood increases and depending on the concentration, it absorbs more or less light," Luu said. "In some people, their brains are more active when they don't like something, and in some people they're more active when they do like something."

After teaching the computer to recognize the unique pattern of brain activity associated with preference for each subject, the researchers accurately predicted which drink the participants liked best 80 percent of the time.

Other research has suggested brain activity could be monitored before decisions are made, perhaps with a mind-reading hat that would predict what we'll do.

The goal of the new research is ultimately to open the world of choice to children who can't speak or move.

Posted by Mr. Starks

Not Sure What To Think about This......Or Rather How The Media Is Reporting This-Actress Selma Hayek Breast Feeds African Child!

I have to think about this for the next 24 hours. Full disclosure moment....I find Selma Hayek extremely attractive and actually thought her film, Frida (about the reknowned artist, Frida Calo) was a great cinematic feast. But between this story and Octo-Mom-I have my concerns and reservations. Let's just say that that the media has positioned this story in the same vein as a canine nursing tiger cubs. You get the inference. Am I wrong or am I being too sensitive? Here's more on this issue, courtesy of News.com.au:

SALMA Hayek was so taken aback by the plight of an African woman in Sierra Leone who was unable to breastfeed her child that the star breastfed the newborn herself.

The incident was captured on camera by a television crew from US TV show Nightline whom Hayek allowed accompany her on the goodwill trip in September.

Nightline have aired the footage on their program and YouTube clips have been circulating the internet, prompting a divisive response from bloggers and parenting websites.

The 42-year-old actress, who was nursing her own daughter Valentina at the time, offered to help when the baby's mother stopped producing milk.

What a generous, kind and beautiful thing to do. I am a breastfeeding mum and if my child was hungry I would be forever grateful to someone like Salma to care for him.

Rebecca of newcastle

"The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn't have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breast-fed the baby.

"You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying," said Hayek.

The actress and UNICEF spokesperson visited the West African country in September as part of her involvement in the fight against tetanus, one of the reasons Sierra Leone has the highest infant and child death rate in the world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Afronerd Brain Blast! Would You Believe That You Can Watch TV On Your Contact Lens?

I've been hearing about this prospect all day. On the surface (of your eye that is....sorry for the bad pun) this seems like a novel idea but talk about the potential for disaster-as if cellular phones don't cause enough trouble. What are your thoughts regarding the use of one's natural body heat to power a microscopic televsion screen that would appear on a contact lens? And the wave of your hand to change the channels. Seems a bit far fetched, huh? Well check out this brief piece, courtesy of Crunchgear.com:

You’ve seen that commercial for Hulu, right? The one with Alec Baldwin sashaying around a futuristic office promising TV everywhere, TV that turns your brain into mush? Take that idea—TV everywhere—and apply it to your biology. That is, how does TV implanted into your contact lenses sound? Really great, or just great? Absolutely horrendous, or just horrendous?

Apparently the “basic technology” already exists. And, according to futurologist (is there an MA in futurology?) Ian Pearson, the contact lens TV “sets” would be powered the energy contained within human body heat. Clever. Within 10 years, friends!

There’s more. The same futurologist believes that we could soon have a “digital tattoo” of sorts that allows us to “feel” and “expereince” the onscreen action. For example, if a character in a soap opera does the dopey love-at-first-sight move, you’ll get that same “feeling,” too. Or, if you’re watching the Yankees and A-Rod strikes out at the bottom of the ninth in October with two outs, you’ll “feel” just like him—it sure is great to be filthy rich, banging super models left and right, and not having a care in the world. (This tattoo sound a little far-fetched to me, but I’m no futurologist.)

Lord knows that, during a recession, and this will be a bad one, people need to be distracted. A little TV-on-the-eyeballs can’t hurt in that regard.

Some folks at PETA thought it was a good idea to dress up like the KKK at Madison Square Garden yesterday

Kinda makes a mockery of racial hatred. Maybe a spay-neuter is in order for some of these folks in PETA.

NEW YORK (AP) - "Is this really the KKK?" somebody asked the woman in the white robe and the pointy hat.

Crowds gawked at a table set up outside Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon, where People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was protesting the start of the Westminster Kennel Club show. PETA contends that the American Kennel Club promotes pure-breeding of dogs that is harmful to their health.

"Welcome AKC Members," read a banner hanging from the table — with AKC crossed out and KKK written above it. Two PETA protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, while other volunteers handed out brochures that read: "The KKK and the AKC: BFF?"

"Obviously it's an uncomfortable comparison," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said.

But the AKC is trying to create a "master race," he added. "It's a very apt comparison."

Uno the beagle barks after winning Best in Show at the 2008 Westminster Dog Show. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

David Frei, spokesman for Westminster and TV host of coverage on USA Network, said: "I can't speak for everyone, but the vast majority of the people exhibiting and handling and showing at Westminster are more interested in the health of dogs than anything else."

"We want to produce the next generation of healthy and happy dogs," he said, "not just for the show ring but for the couches at home."

Most passers-by seemed more puzzled than offended, though those who didn't stop walked away thinking they really had seen the KKK. The most common reaction was to pull out a cell phone and start snapping photos.

Police monitored the situation from nearby, but the scene was mostly calm. One shouting match broke out during the hour-long protest.

Earlier, a man strode away yelling, "That's disgusting! I'm going to buy more fur!"

Fatima Walden, who spotted the protest during a shopping trip, called the KKK imagery inappropriate no matter what the message.

"They could have used something else as an example," she said. "You should be considerate to everybody."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Stay Tuned for a New Comic Shoppe Broadcast, Tues at 7pm eastern! The NY Comic Con Aftermath & More!

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's Comic Shoppe broadcast since we will be giving you our post NY Comic Con impressions as only the Shoppe team can! So I'm sure you are aware of the drill-join Daryll, Max and I, Tuesday at 7pm eastern to discuss the following: our thoughts (including exclusive tidbits/previews) pertaining to this past weekend's convention; thoughts about President Obama being a character in pulp fiction and have there been past real life Commanders in Chief depicted in comic fare; Brian Bendis' disclosure that Powers may end up getting a home on the small screen, courtesy of FX; Bruce Willis' graphic novel send up Surrogates preview; Brett Ratner slated to direct Rob Liefeld's Youngblood comic book creation and of course, our favorite graphic novel reads from the previous week. Feel free to join us and provide your questions/comments "live" at 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.

The Comic Shoppe visits the NY Comic Con

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hey He Might Not Be An "Afro" Nerd But He's A Nerd That Is Speaking The Truth! Let's Help This Become Viral!

First off, I just came back from my second visit to the NY Comic-Con and I will have a few tidbits to bring up when we broadcast the Comic Shoppe show this Tuesday. I also must confess that as much as I have ascribed to the nerd persona, there were far greater examples at the convention of folks who have truly embraced the nerd/geek aesthetic wholeheartedly. Case in point:

But then there are some nerds that I really dig for....ahem....the obvious:

Oh....it gets deeper for yours truly:

But(t) I digress, the above video appears not to be a put on but depicts the average hip hop consumer. This young man represents the young White suburban (or is it exurban...who knows with this economy) teenage audience that gobbles up this neo-minstrelsy with reckless abandon but even he has seen the truth. I despise acknowledging the inane, but there are probably 30 concurrent rap beefs occurring even as we speak, but the one that has been receiving a certain amount of notoriety is the 50 cent vs Rick Ross blackface battle. Hopefully(?), no one gets hurt, maimed or killed behind this manufactured girlyfight but right now, I'm siding with the young man in the video and his assertion that many of these hip hop artists really are prostitutes. Perhaps it's time to round them up and take them off the street corner-high heels and skirts, notwithstanding. Next Up-Afronerd Radio's broadcast at 7pm.

Friday, February 06, 2009

And While You Wait for Our Upcoming Broadcast, Check Out This Afronerd Intermission-A Homage to Black History Month

No real editorial needed here.....it would really come off as being redundant. Mr. Parks was a cogent as one can get. What say you? What side will you choose-soothsayer or naysayer?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Interviewing Mr. Tim Alexander, Director of The New DVD Release of Diary of a Tired Black Man & Afronerd Radio's Week in Review-Sun, 7pm eastern!

Well I suggest that you guys make room in your weekend schedules to check out this broadcast. Stop by this Sunday at 7pm eastern as Mr. Starks and I interview controversial director Tim Alexander regarding the recent DVD release of his film, Diary of A Tired Black Man. Is this the male version of Waiting To Exhale? Does the film's subject matter relate to Ann Coulter's assertions that Black female headed households are the root of most of the pathology witnessed in communities of color? And what about the Black man's complicity pertaining to this dysfunctionalism?

Feel free to stop by as we discuss Mr. Alexander's film as we take callers and their questions at: 646-915-9620 (simultaneous email/IM contact via-afronerdradio@yahoo.com). This will also be an extended broadcast, so stick around to hear about Mr. Starks' experience regarding the unveiling (more specifically, the renaming) of Barack Obama Elementary School. The school holds the distinction of being the first in the US to be named in honor of this historic presidency. In addition, we will try to fit in the following: GOPAC chairman Michael Steele's own historic achievement, Etta Vs Obama & Beyonce and more hip hop minstrel foolishness. And the drill remains the same-Be There and Be square-Excelsior brethren!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I Like KRS-1 As a Hip Hop Artist But As A Deep Political Thinker?......Not So Much

Trust me when I emphatically state that I have my regrets walking down the cyberhalls of WorldStarHipHop.com. One will undoubtedly see and/or hear video clips that showcase the lower tier aesthetic without a moral compass or governor. Case in point-take a gander at the above video which highlights the meanderings of legendary hip hop artist, KRS-1. Our readers probably remember the hot water that KRS (aka Lawrence Parker) found himself in a few years back when he made some statements believed to be anti-American subsequent to the 9/11 attacks in NYC in '01. What really disturbs me about this clip is that many Black folks still espouse dated 60s revolutionary concepts (which are always conspiratorial in nature) that do not always apply to what people of color are experiencing in the present day.

Does Mr. Parker make some valid observations? Well, a malfunctioning timepiece possess the correct time at least twice in one day-so why not KRS-1? President Obama should definitely remain open to critique and not racially protected (or exempt) but can't he at least serve a few weeks in office free from grandiose protestations? The only point that I agree with Parker about relates to his assertion that Black faces are only allowed to appear in the political/governmental landscape when the presiding provinces have been devalued. But again....can't we at least go into observation mode for a few months while Obama gets acclimated to the Oval Office? I also remember a time when Parker debated noted NY scribe and radio host, Playthell Benjamin only to be bested by Benjamin's extensive knowledge base. Be leery of under-educated rap artists prophesizing doom gloom. Am I wrong on this? Check out the video and tell us what you think. And if you need an example of Playthell Benjamin's handiwork, check out the video below which shows him verbally battling noted author/aetheist, Christopher Hitchins....it's highly likely that KRS-1 didn't fair much better:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Well It's Time For Some Classics...I Mean Comics-7pm Tues, The Comic Shoppe Show-Covering New Trailers, New Info & The NY Comic Con!

I hope you guys enjoyed yesterday's exciting Superbowl game and congrats to the '09 winners, The Pittsburgh Steelers. Like a true nerd, I was more interested in the comic/fantasy movie trailers and commercials (I was hoping that Arizona would have caused an upset....missed it by that much) but in authentic "nerdic" fashion we will discuss this tomorrow at 7pm eastern. So join Dburt, Max and Daryll as we chop it up about the following: ABC Family's announcement that Kyle XY has been cancelled, Chicago gets its Comic Con, Avatar: The Last Airbender meets a Slumdog Millionaire, More Flash/Green Lantern movie talk and our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. You know the drill folks-give us a buzz with your questions and comments at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo. And as always....Be There, Be Square and Excelsior, people!

the Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And if you missed the aforementioned Superbowl commercials, click on the link below for a refresher course:

Superbowl Ads

Well Better Late than Never......You've Heard This Already But It's Still Noteworthy....Mike Steele Heads the RNC!

Sorry for the delayed editorial on former Lt. Governor, Michael Steele being named chairman of the Republican National Party but sometimes time constraints make it difficult to discuss the matters as they occur. Well, we mentioned Mr. Steele's prospects regarding the belief that it just made sense for a competent person of color to be considered for this position especially as a counterbalance to President Obama's ascendency and the Afronerd team couldn't be happier. Irrespective of one's political persuasion, it is imperative that minorities be seen in all positions of power. The insistence that we hold on to an archiac notion of the 90% democratic/tribal monolith boggles the mind.

Just a few days ago, while visiting my father's barbershop, one of his colleagues noted that Steele was just a "token." I, of course, had to break ranks and respectfully disagree with the gentleman informing him that the conservatives have no choice but to concede to the notion that the world's demography is changing exponentially and if the Republicans intend to be politically competitive in the ensuing years-cogent conservatives of color just may be the ticket! Despite my conservative leanings, Mr. Obama received my vote and as predicted he appears to be governing from the center but the questions remains-will Blacks (and the nation, in general) place their vote for an Obama equivalent on conservative side? What do our readers think? A penny for your thoughts (it used to be a quarter but it lost value-I'm waiting for the O man's stimulus package to be approved)

And if you need further evidence of the Man of Steele's prowess, check out this latest piece written by US News & World Report's John Aloysius Farrell:

Rush Limbaugh Dooms the Republican Party, but Michael Steele Could Save It

The Republican Party is at a fork in the road. And the events of the past 10 days have propelled two of its leaders into prominent positions as it gets ready to choose its way. Each of these men exemplifies a direction that the party can take.On one side of the road stands Michael Steele, the newly elected party chairman, who is charismatic, conservative, media savvy, and, incidentally, a person of color.On the other side of the road stands Rush Limbaugh, a crude and mean-spirited individual who gets rich by playing to base fears and likes to joke about "negroes."

(As Ross Perot once said about Rush and his kind: "I don't listen to talk radio; I work for a living.")Now some may argue that the GOP really doesn't need to choose: that it can put Steele in as a figurehead chairman, and let Limbaugh and Hannity and Dobson and the other knuckle-draggers peddle fear and hate and division beneath the radar.

Maybe. But in the U.S. of A., getting elected is still a matter of numbers.

And while there are still a bunch more voters with white skin than dark skin, the dark-skinned among us are catching up.

Demography doesn't lie. Maybe the recession will dilute the effects of immigration for a time. But we are still on our way to a postracial, multihued society.

We didn't need Audacity's election to tell us that. Karl Rove and George W. Bush and Ken Mehlman have been preaching it for the past 10 years. In fact, W did a pretty good job of winning elections in Texas, and nationally, by asking big chunks of those darker-skinned Americans to vote their values, and their wallets, instead of their ethnic identity.

Because we need a Republican Party—if only to keep pointy-headed, do-gooding liberal Democrats (God bless 'em) from turning the governing of this free and magnificently disorderly country into a huge and loathsome, immensely boring PTA meeting—I am glad the GOP leaned toward the more enlightened fork by choosing Steele.

But does Steele's election signify a real change of direction and the full embrace of the Rove-Bush-Mehlman strategy, or is it merely window dressing? To use the old broadcasting chestnut, Only Time Will Tell.

I do know this: The Rush fork will lead them to disaster.